September 12, 2007
The Poet of the Castle, 1959
A companion piece to Joaquim Pedro de Andrade's short film, The Master of Apipucos, The Poet of the Castle is a reverent portrait of beloved Brazilian modernist poet - and de Andrade's godfather - Manuel Bandeira. Plagued by delicate health throughout his lifetime stemming from a childhood bout of tuberculosis, Bandeira's daily ritual intrinsically reflects a resigned awareness of his physical limitations: eating his breakfast while still in his pajamas, placing his typewriter near the side of the bed in order to continue working on his drafts while reclining, paying a visit to the neighborhood drugstore. But this consciousness of fragility his seems to have only served to fuel Bandeira's irrepressible spirit, as his leisurely walks around town invariably turn into free associative, daydreaming excursions into distant places and exotic destinations, episodes of nostalgia, meetings with old friends, and silent appreciation of the female form. As in de Andrade's portrait of sociologist Gilberto Freire, The Poet of the Castle captures the spirit of Bandeiro's poetry as a integral reflection of the poet's acute awareness of his own human frailty and desire.
The NYFF Sidebar, Tropical Analysis: The Films of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade runs from September 29 through October 9, 2007.